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Call for transparency: Advocating for a unified database of non-tax levies

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A potential remedy to the complexity of non-tax levies, often camouflaged as fees or charges, faced by businesses in Serbia and the wider region could lie in the establishment of a centralized public database encompassing all such obligations, suggests the latest bulletin from the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED).

Drawing on the example of the Republic of Srpska (BiH), which has maintained a register of non-tax levies for over five years, Jelena Bojović, NALED’s program director, expressed hope for Serbia to adopt a similar approach. She highlighted NALED’s past efforts, in collaboration with KPMG and with support from USAID, in cataloging over 1,200 levies across national legislation, identifying taxes as the most prevalent despite contributing only a quarter of total non-tax revenues. Bojović underscored the need for mandatory electronic assessment and collection of all non-tax duties through designated portals, advocating for transparency and streamlined payment processes.

In support of Bojović’s stance, Dalibor Tomaš, an advisor to the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, cited the successful implementation of a comprehensive database in the region in 2019. Tomaš highlighted the database’s role in eliminating redundant levies and enhancing transparency, noting the establishment of a Coordinating Body tasked with assessing the justification of each benefit listed. The systematic approach adopted by the Republic of Srpska underscores the potential efficacy of a unified database in simplifying compliance and facilitating informed decision-making regarding non-tax levies.

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